I will graduate with a BSN in 2015. After I take and pass my Nclex I plan on starting the process to join the AF. I probably will get a civilian job while going through the process. Does the board select nurses that are fresh out of college with little to no experience? Also does the military cover cost for travel to MEPS and COT? btw i am NOT ROTC.
Jun 27, '13
The Air Force has the nurse transition program for new graduate nurses, and when searched on this board, there is a lot of good information that comes up. I am not sure for MEPS, but you are reimbursed for travel time to get to COT.
Jun 28, '13
I wasn't reimbursed for travel to MEPS. You should be reimbursed for travel to COT as that is authorized training.
All branches have extremely competitive application processes for new grads. ROTC is the easiest way to get in right now, and even that is very difficult. Chances are you will need to get experience on the civilian side before they'll consider your application.
Jul 24, '13
I will also be graduating with a BSN in 2015! I am trying to apply to the Nurse Transition Program mentioned in a previous post. My recruiter told me to contact him when I am within a year of graduating. This program takes new grads with less than a year experience (I believe that's the magic number).
Jul 18, '14
The Air Force has a Nurse Transition Program (NTP) that is ONLY for nurses with less than 1 year of experience. It is very competitive! I would start the application process way before you graduate! I just graduated in May 2014 with my BSN and started my application back in October. I had a lot of my application submitted before I graduated, and had my interview at the end of May after I had graduated. The last thing I submitted was proof that I had passed the NCLEX. You will have to do around 9 essay questions, a resume, a VERY detailed history form (where you've lived, worked, medical hx, etc), and an interview at a base with a chief nurse. The board that decides if you get into the Nurse Transition Program only meets at specific times during the year. For example, my recruiter needed my application to be finalized before July because the board will meet at the end of this month to decide who gets to go to COT and then NTP. The earliest I would probably go to COT would be in January, giving me around 6 months of experience as a nurse before going. (I'm working at a hospital while I am waiting to hear back from the AF). If you wait too long to apply you may have more than the maximum of 1 year experience as an RN. After you have over a year of experience, you no longer apply to the Nurse Transition Program, you would apply as Fully Qualified (FQ) which is an entirely different application.
I would get into contact with a healthcare recruiter, they should be able to give you all the information you need on when to start working on your application. Good luck with everything!!
Jul 18, '14
The AF should have a contract hotel they put people from out of town in when they go to MEPS.
Jul 18, '14
It really matters what kind of nursing you plan to do. If you want something other than med/surg or OB straight (such as ED/OR/ICU) out of school, then I would advise you NOT to do NTP. NTP nurses, as well as ROTC new grads, must all start in OB or med/surg. You'll be stuck there for at least 2 years, and will then have to apply for a training program to switch specialties. These training programs are ~12 weeks and require another couple of years commitment.
If you can get a civilian new grad position right out of school in the specialty of your choice, you can get 1 year of experience and enter the AF already in that specialty.
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